GlaxoSmithKline is to cut significantly the prices of its medicine in emerging economies next spring.
“My preference is not a high price and 100 units of profit for 100 patients, but to drop the price and make 100 of profit from 500 patients,” Abbas Hussain, head of emerging markets at the UK pharmaceuticals company, said. “We fundamentally believe access for more of the masses is the way to go.”
The reductions – expected to reduce prices in most developing countries to below two-thirds of western prices – reflect intensifying efforts by drug companies to tap demand from the faster-growing economies as western markets stagnate.
This year Gbola Amusa, a pharma analyst with UBS, said emerging markets would help the sector maintain annual sales growth of at least 3 per cent, and singled out Novartis, Bayer, Novo Nordisk and Teva as beneficiaries.
瑞银(UBS)制药业分析师戈博拉•阿穆萨(Gbola Amusa)表示，新兴市场将帮助该行业保持至少3%的年销售额增长，并指出诺华制药(Novartis)、拜耳(Bayer)、诺和诺德(Novo Nordisk)及以色列梯瓦制药(Teva)将从中受惠。
A number of pharmaceutical groups in recent years have made donations or offered deep discounts in the world's poorest countries on a narrow range of medicines – notably anti-retrovirals for HIV.
GSK and other companies have been forced to reduce prices in recent months by healthcare systems in developing countries. This year the Philippines imposed sharp reductions for all drug manufacturers, and Turkey is poised to demand substantial cuts.
Global pharmaceutical groups have been criticised for “cherry-picking” rich patients in poor countries who can pay western prices, while leaving most of those in need without access to their products.
In response, companies have argued that even very large price reductions would leave their medicines unaffordable to the poorest, while creating a risk of “diversion” of lower-priced products back to richer markets, which would undermine prices in the west.
Mr Hussain said experiments by GSK in lower-price markets had not led richer countries to demand similar discounts, while exports back into richer countries were “not substantial enough to worry about”.
The US, western Europe and Japan account for the bulk of sales of patented medicines, but the greatest growth is forecast to come from countries such as China, Russia, India and Brazil.
Australia is set to cut back on its quota of skilled migrants by 14 per cent in an effort to safeguard jobs for Australians – the first such move in 10 years. The federal governm
US fiscal stimulus spending will start to give a significant boost to growth in the third quarter, according to Christina Romer, a senior White House official.白宫经济顾问委员会(Co